Gairloch Parish 1939-45 Records
Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society is indebted to Mr Donald Mackenzie of Mellon Charles, Aultbea, for providing such detailed information on the servicemen of Gairloch Parish who served in World War 2.
The information provided by Mr Donald Mackenzie is deserving of photographs. If any relatives of the men concerned would care to provide such, please contact Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society.
Mrs. Bella Macrae, Gairloch
Mrs. Bella Macrae was born 82 years ago in Lonemore, Gairloch. She was the oldest of four children and lived with her parents who were crofters. She started work at the age of fifteen in the post office situated opposite the Old Inn. She is proud of her achievement in learning morse code in order to interpret the telegraphs. Married when she was twenty-six and, as was the custom then, she had to leave her work. Bella has lived in Gairloch all her life, she feels that incomers have added a good deal to the village, but her major wish for the Millennium would be for the return of the community spirit which existed in the village.
Miss Maggie MacKenzie (Maggie Tearooms)
Maggie was born in Opinan, Gairloch in 1923. There were seven children in her family. Her father was a crofter and also involved in salmon fishing. Her mother, in keeping with her peers, looked after both the family and worked the croft. Maggie went to school in Opinan but left at 14 to help her aunt in her tearoom. Her pay was poor – £2 per month. Maggie later worked at the Loch Maree Hotel, during the war. Maggie has seen many changes but in the main she has seen the decline in crofting.
Can you help?
RCHS has no information about these photos except that they came from an album dated 1908. The sender thought the album may have been compiled by the minister, pictured, to commemorate a visit to Wester Ross. The other photo is of a crofter using a cas crom (peat cutter) in the Gairloch area.